Wellness is about so much more than health | Commentary

Health is defined as the absence of disease. Don’t you think it is odd to describe something as the absence of something else? Health is so much more.

Wellness is a state of being in good health and it needs to be an actively pursued goal, not just the fact that something bad has not occurred. In wellness, there are three intertwined components — mind, body, and spirit.

  • Mind: The mind is not just about mental health or behavioral issues. It includes all the thoughts that we have, our awareness, and our consciousness.
  • Body: The body is the physical structure of a person. The bones, the flesh, and other vital organs.
  • Spirit: The human spirit triggers our intellect, our emotions, our fears, our passions, and our creativity.

A person’s mind affects the body component and a person’s body affects the spirit. All three components cannot be handled separately, they are all part of the actively pursued goal of wellness.

Mental health and well-being are essential to maintaining a safe and productive workplace. Before COVID our country was battling a silent pandemic — the mental-health crisis. Mental health was brought into the spotlight during COVID with sheltering in place, isolation and everything we were dealing with as a society was exacerbated by this crisis.

How we respond as a Florida business community to the mental-health crisis and the actions we take to provide resources to Floridians is more important than ever. The only way to reduce and remove the stigma around mental health is to talk about it.

In its quest to make Florida the safest, healthiest and most sustainable state in America, and with mental health and well-being essential to maintaining a safe and productive workplace, the Florida Chamber Safety Council and AdventHealth teamed up to offer businesses tools and resources to support their employees in meeting these challenges through its mental wellness initiative, which includes two videos intended to provide education in an easy and practical way.

The world’s most precious commodity is its people. Body health is just as essential as mental health is when it comes to wellness. Each day the Florida Chamber Safety Council is working to implement trainings for Florida’s business community —everything from First Aid and Bloodborne Pathogens Awareness to Auto Accident and Fall Protection — through its suite of public, private and virtual on-demand safety trainings. But again, a body cannot be well without its mind being well.

As humans we are hard-wired to remember the negative, and negative memories are most resilient to fatigue, making an individual tired and grumpy. Getting quality sleep is essential to a positive human spirit. Dr. John Bryan Sexton, Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University, has empirical evidence that if, within two hours of sleep, a person says three good things that went well during the day and what their role was in making it happen, you will have a better night of sleep. Research shows that spending even just a few minutes each day practicing gratitude can facilitate better sleep and lower blood pressure, which in turn, leads to being happier, better charged, and healthier.

Mind, Body, and Spirit. The three components of wellness that cannot be overlooked.

The Florida Chamber Safety Council is working to influence and provide tools and resources to employers from a safety leadership perspective. Visit to join the movement towards making Florida the safest, healthiest and most sustainable state in America.

Robert Roncska is chair of the Florida Chamber Safety Council Advisory Board Wellness Pillar and executive director for high reliability and unit culture with AdventHealth. Dr. Jeffrey Kuhlman serves as chief quality and safety Officer for AdventHealth.



*Originally published with the Orlando Sentinel.